Former Lt. Col. Convicted in Military Secrets Trial
DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) _ A retired Army officer was convicted in federal court Saturday of giving military secrets to a defense contractor.
The jury deliberated 30 minutes before finding retired Lt. Col Kenneth Lee Landon, 47, of Enterprise guilty of both charges against him - conspiracy and conversion of a government document.
U.S. District Judge Joel Dubina allowed Landon to remain free on $20,000 unsecured bond and did not immediately set a sentencing date. Landon faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and fined $500,000.
Landon had no comment after the trial, but in testimony Friday said he did not feel what he did was morally wrong and, if the circumstances were the same, ″I’d do it again.″
Landon admitted that in 1985, while stationed at Fort Rucker in southeast Alabama, he gave the Army’s Anti-Armor Master Plan to then-Rockwell International executive Hewitt ″Buck″ Lovelace.
He said he believed a Rockwell competitor, Martin-Marietta, already had the 135-page document and he wanted to make sure the two companies were competing on equal terms.
″I thought it was in the best interest of the U.S. Army and the U.S. government,″ Landon testified. He said he did not steal the document and did not trade it for promises of a job at Rockwell.
Lovelace, 43, of Lawrenceville, Ga., pleaded guilty June 24 to conversion of a government document. He could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $250,000.
He testifed Thursday that he received the plan from Landon in the parking lot of the Dothan Airport on Aug. 30, 1985, took it to his Georgia home, hid it for a week and then gave it to a Rockwell operations analyst.